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June 7, 2000

Tarawa to Solomon Islands voyage, Update #9

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Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2000 00:45:19 -0700
Day 8
Wind ENE 5 knots
Heading 225 Magnetic
I could not have hoped or imagined during the first few days after leaving Betio (that nightmare transition), that I should have become so adjusted to life and all its compromises on board this little boat. To celebrate our first week at sea we knocked off pedaling early yesterday evening at around 8.30 p.m. and both went down to the Mirage Bar for a few drinks. It's the only pub we know of out here. An intimate place, a bit cut off, but with delightful ocean views and within spitting distance of the water. At the bar we both chose the same single malt - a Speyside with sweet grassy notes like summer meadows. A delicious dram. Then, after a few passes with the acoustic guitar - which both Jason and I play - a CD was put on and the conversation about women began in earnest. How the sea drives a man to thinking! After about an hour a small electric storm crept our way to remind us of where we really were. So it was away with the glasses and to bed for our first good night of around 8 hrs of proper sleep as the good ship Moksha, wallowing in the swell, rocked us both to sleep like babes in arms (aided by single malt of course).

I am overwhelmingly pleased to be aboard and enjoying this little boat that was a labour to me for so long. Moksha is at best lively and at worst a bucking bronco ridden at full gallop. To ride in her she has a sea-kindly hull and takes swell and surges very well. She yields to the surface movements of this ocean rather than fighting them and it is these movements that catches the novice unawares, throwing him constantly against the protruding objects lining the cockpit. After a few days at sea the subconscious seems to take care of this balancing act and slowly the body relaxes into its dynamic new environment. And thank goodness it does! I wonder if the old sailor's legendary ability to drink and stay standing is due in part to this inner process of reacting to every movement that tries to knock him off his feet. When I get to Honiara I shall find a bar and let you know.

Chris & Jason,
The Moksha motors

Posted on June 7, 2000 6:08 AM